My heart rate increased with each email I read.
"Sorry, I already have roommates."
"No, I'm not going this year."
Pit pat. Pit pat.
"Someone else asked me already."
"I'm not going either."
Pitter patter. Pitter patter.
My heart sank. That was the last of them. Everyone I knew either wasn't going to Mount Hermon this year or already had a roommate. Tears welled up in my eyes. My immediate feeling was one of isolation and rejection. Doubt crept into my mind: does anyone really like me? They probably don't view me as a real writer (am I?). I don't blame them for wanting to be with other real writers. Maybe I shouldn't go. I haven't actually purchased my plane ticket yet. I could not go and only be out the $75 deposit. Is this a sign? I don't really have anything to write that is worth reading anyway. Why did I ever think my topic ideas were relevant or even interesting? Or that anyone would bother reading them? Honestly, do I really think I'm any good at writing? My entire support system crumbled underneath me. How could I make it through five days with real professional (published!) writers on my own? I reduced myself to a little girl trying to dress up in her mom's clothing. I was completely out of my league, and silly for thinking I might possibly belong.
My daughter woke up in the other room, screaming, so I went in to attend to her. As I rocked her back to sleep, I cried out to the Lord.
Why did I even think I should go? What are you doing to me, Lord? How can I make it through this conference by myself?
Depend on me.
I'm trying Lord, but it's so hard. I feel completely inadequate. I've been deluding myself into thinking that I actually had something worth writing, worth reading. Why would anyone even care about what I've written?
They won't. Your words and ideas are not that important. They are not good enough to attract the attention of editors, publishers or even readers. But my words are.
Conviction began replacing my doubts. It's a battle I constantly face: pride and self reliance versus total dependence on Him. I get caught up in thinking I have these wonderful things to impart and others should want to listen to me. I stray from the giver of words and wisdom, forgetting that apart from Him I am nothing. God placed the desire to write in my heart, but He never intended for me to fulfill that desire myself.
My prayer that night, and hopefully throughout my writing career (whatever that may eventually look like) became one of humility.
Lord, I want to be open to your words and your ideas. Speak through me Lord, and don't let my words and thoughts get mixed up into your words and thoughts. Let every single word I pen be for Your glory, not mine. Let every word someone reads from my hand point back to You. I want my goal in writing to be declaring your glory among the nations and your name to all people. Help me not to lose sight of the reason why you have called me to write.
Photo: Mount Hermon entourage, 2006